Blow for FAI as Colin Bell leaves post as women's international boss to take coaching role at Huddersfield
The FAI were hit with a fresh blow on Saturday morning with the announcement that the senior women's team boss, Colin Bell, is leaving his post to join the Huddersfield Town backroom team.
Bell had been in charge of the national women's side for two years, finishing third behind Norway and the Netherlands in their World Cup qualification group. He has recently been part of RTE's punditry team for the Women's World Cup.
"Colin has done a fantastic job in his time with Ireland and I want to thank him for that," FAI High Performance Director, Ruud Dokter said, paying tribute to Bell.
"He has introduced new players to international football and brought our team to a new place.
"The World Cup qualifying campaign saw him bed in his ideas very quickly and the players responded with high level performances. His passion, commitment and desire to develop women’s football in Ireland was exemplary and I wish him well at Huddersfield. The challenge now for the new management and the players is to qualify for the European Championships"
FAI General Manager for Football Services and Partnerships Noel Mooney added: “Colin did extremely well with the Women's National Team and while we didn't want to see him go, I wish him the very best in his new role and for the future. We will now commence the process of finding a top-class Head Coach to replace Colin ahead of the European Championship qualifying games which kick-off in the autumn.”
The team will kick-off their European Championship qualifiers against Montenegro on September 3 in Tallaght Stadium.
The 57-year-old, who previously coached in Germany for 23 years, replaces Andreas Winkler, who left the Sky Bet Championship Terriers on Friday, on Jan Siewert's backroom staff.
Huddersfield boss Siewert told the club website: "I'm so happy to be able to welcome Colin to Huddersfield today.
"He has a fantastic reputation in Germany as a top-quality coach, that he's really earned. He's been a head coach, a supporting coach and the head of academies at very high levels and can offer us so much.
"We first met when he was at TuS Koblenz and he was a big help to me early in my coaching career. We've kept in touch ever since and I'm delighted he has accepted the offer to come and help us here at Huddersfield Town."